The Health service area focuses on the prevention and early diagnosis of suspected health problems. Early Head Start and Head start encourages families' good health by offering vision, hearing, and dental screenings, and developmental assessments. Your Family Advocate/Educator is available to assist you in locating a medical and dental home. They can often even assist with transportation when needed.
The Nutrition service area focuses on practices that encourage a lifetime of healthy eating habits. All meals and snacks meet the guidelines set up by CACFP for portions and the type of food being served. Mealtimes are conducted in a Family Style fashion allowing the children to have an opportunity to use utensils that are size appropriate and to serve themselves. New foods are introduced regularly and a nutrition activity is often part of the home visit experience.
Breastfeeding your baby is the most nutritious way to feed your baby. Here at Early Head Start, we encourage our nursing mothers to breastfeed their child as often as they feel necessary. EHS will provide mothers with a comfortable area for breastfeeding.
Infants and toddlers enrolled in the center will be provided with formula purchased by SCCDC.
While attending program, children are encouraged to brush their teeth. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are provided at the center.
Schoharie County Head Start and Early Head Start believes that the healthy social-emotional development of young children is one of the best indicators of school readiness. Social-emotional development is a child's ability to form relationships, explore, learn and manage their emotions. Our Mental Health Services focus on strengthening social-emotional development for all of our children on many different levels.
Transition/ School Readiness
Both Early Head Start (EHS) and Head Start (HS) Performance Standards require that families and children receive help with transitions (§ 1308.21), including: changes of program staff and children's settings; moving from Early Head Start to Head Start; and leaving a program for a new setting including moving up to the public school. Transition policy and procedures are in place to support children, families, and staff.
All EHS children receive transition planning at least six months (or as soon as possible, if entering after this time) before their third birthday. Activities to support transition to the new setting are carried out as needed. Special needs children receive assistance and support while transitioning from Early Intervention Services (EI) to Committee for Preschool Education (CPSE) services, and from CPSE to Committee for Special Education (CSE) through the public school.
The Head Start approach to School Readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their child's learning, and schools are ready for children.
Partnering with families to prepare children for success in the public school is a long held priority of SCCDC and its Head Start program. Families play a critical role in helping their children prepare for school and a lifetime of academic success. SCCDC empbraces the philosophy that school readiness is an ongoing process that begins when children are enrolled as infants or toddlers. Research shows that social and emotional development of infants and toddlers are key factors in school readiness. The EHS National Resource Center stresses the importance of a strong dynamic in early care giving relationships, as emotional development is a precursor of all learning and development.
Early Head Start/Head Start is committed to providing educational services to all children, including those with disabilities. Screenings and assessments are provided for all children to identify your child's strengths and any areas of concern. Information gathered will be used to develop individual plans for your child. With your permission, the agency will refer any child we have concerns about for a complete evaluation by trained professionals.
Family Partnership Services
SCCDC seeks to be partners with you in all aspects of you and your child's Early Head Start/Head Start experience. Your personal Family Advocate, or Family Educator will work with you to identify your family's strengths and resources, needs and goals. Family Advocates and Family Educators are available to furnish information about, and referrals to, community agencies and can assist you with emergency situations. The Family Partnership Agreement is an opportunity for you to develop a plan to meet any goals you may have.
The overall goal of the education services at SCCDC is to work with families to provide an appropriate learning environment for each child enrolled. Parent participation is encouraged and respected in the on-going process of planning for and providing a quality educational program.
SCCDC is committed to providing age-appropriate experiences that support the overall development of all children, including those with disabilities. We know that young children learn best when they are actively involved in their environment. As you visit our classrooms, it may appear that the children are only playing and not really learning. In actuality, the children are benefiting from carefully planned, hands-on activities that teach them a variety of skills while they have fun.
Implementing a curriculum that best prepares children for success in the public school is the main priority for Schoharie County Child Development Council. In an effort to evaluate our progress towards this goal, a formal system to measure the outcomes of our curriculum and services is in place. Information regarding each child's development progress is gathered on an on-going basis and is used as the foundation of the individualization process.
The Creative Curriculum is currently used as a guide for education staff as they plan for activities in the classroom and on home visits.